Welcome Service Tirol

The Welcome Service Tirol is the first point of contact for Tyrolean companies and universities and their international, highly qualified employees.

© Standortagentur Tirol

Healthcare

Tyrol has an exceptionally high standard of healthcare in all fields of medicine and therapy.

Social insurance in Austria

The Federation of Social Insurances ("Dachverband der Sozialversicherungsträger") is the umbrella organization of Austria's statutory health, accident and pension insurance institutions. The following five statutory social insurance institutions belong to it: Österreichische Gesundheitskasse (ÖGK), Versicherungsanstalt öffentlich Bediensteter, Eisenbahn und Bergbau (BVAEB), Sozialversicherungsanstalt der Selbständigen (SVS), Pensionsversicherungsanstalt (PVA) and Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt (AUVA).

Health insurance

Österreichische Gesundheitskasse (ÖGK) is the largest social health insurance institution in Austria, providing insurance for about 82 per cent of the population. The insurance provided covers health care services, in particular medical and therapeutic care provided by accredited doctors and therapists, hospitals and ÖGK health centres, sickness benefits, dental services, medicines and therapeutic appliances, childbirth benefits as well as health promotion and prevention measures.  

Statutory social insurance is a compulsory insurance in Austria, which means that if the legally defined requirements are met, the person is automatically included in the respective insurance branch (health, accident or pension insurance).

In Austria, social health insurance is not freely selectable. The social health insurance institution responsible for employees depends on their occupation. The majority of employees are insured with ÖGK. However, the responsible health insurance instutution for employees of universities according to the Universities Act 2002 (Universitätsgesetz 2002), for example, is BVAEB. But there are also cases in which employees are not subject to Austrian social security.

Many people take out private supplementary insurance (with private insurance companies), which guarantees them coverage of various costs that are not covered by social insurance and, depending on the product, other advantages (e.g. possibility of free choice of doctor for an operation, etc.).

e-card

If you will be employed in a Tyrolean company or at a Tyrolean university, your employer will register you for Austrian social insurance (unless special regulations apply). If your monthly earnings exceed the marginal earnings threshold, you will thereby also be automatically insured in the statutory health insurance (if no exemption is applicable).

As proof of health insurance, every insured person receives a so-called e-card. The e-card is a chip card that bears the cardholder's name, title and social security number. Insured persons must present the e-card when visiting a doctor or undergoing other medical treatment, since only the e-card can be used to clarify electronically whether and under what conditions health insurance coverage exists (exemption from prescription charges, etc.).  If dependents are co-insured, they must also receive an e-card.

The e-card can be used in particular at any contracted physician of the responsible health insurance institution, in health insurance-owned facilities and in most hospitals. The scope of services and costs covered by the e-card depends on the respective health insurance institution (ÖGK, BVAEB; see also our Medical Care Website). 

Since 01.01.2020 (with a few exceptions) all e-cards for persons 14 years and older must have a photo that clearly shows the cardholder.

If a photo is already available - e.g. on the basis of a residence title (not: Registration Certificate/"Anmeldebescheinigung" for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals), convention passport or another document from the Foreigners' Register ("Fremdenregister") - it will automatically be used for the e-card.

However, if this is not the case, the e-card will only be issued if the person for whom the e-card is for brings their photo and the additional required documents to one of the registration offices in Tyrol. Please note that you will not receive a request for this, but you have to book an appointment electronically and bring all necessary documents (passport photo, etc.) to this appointment.

Note: On the back of the e-card there is a field for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In any case, it makes sense to read up on the EHIC.

In addition, it is generally advisable to find out from the relevant health insurance institution (website, hotline, etc.) before traveling abroad whether, under what conditions and to what extent health insurance coverage exists for the country in question and what steps the insured person must take to obtain it. Also, the coverage of non-covered risks of a trip by appropriate private insurance should always be considered.

Medical care

Medical care and treatment in Tyrol are of a very high standard. In addition to the university hospitals in Innsbruck, Tyrol has hospitals in all districts and a dense network of general practitioners and specialists.

Emergencies and emergency phone numbers

In an emergency, call 144 (without area code) for the ambulance service or go directly to a hospital (if the situation allows it, otherwise call the ambulance). Another useful telephone number is the 24-hour emergency number of the Poison Control Centre of the General Hospital in Vienna: +43 1 406 43 43. The toll-free European emergency number 112 is of course also valid in Austria. The Federal Criminal Police Office keeps a list of emergency numbers where you can find further useful telephone numbers for emergencies.

Doctors in Tyrol: General practicioners and specialists

General practitioners (family doctors) are often the first point of contact for health issues that do not constitute an emergency. There, patients are examined by a doctor and receive medical care, and if further clarification or treatment is needed, they are referred to a specialist.

It is also possible to go directly to a specialist (usually by appointment). But before doing so, it is advisable to find out which requirements have to be met for the costs to be covered by the competent social health insurance institution (which may also include a referral) if this is of interest.

Panel doctors, elective doctors and private doctors

In Austria, patients are basically free to choose their doctor in the field of private practice which means that they are not only allowed to consult one particular doctor, but can choose between several doctors. However, as far as the costs and the way of billing for medical services are concerned, there are differences depending on whether the doctor is a panel doctor ("Kassenärztin"/"Kassenarzt"), an elective doctor ("Wahlärztin"/"Wahlarzt") or a private doctor ("Privatärztin"/"Privatarzt").

Panel doctors ("Kassenärztinnen"/"Kassenärzte") are general practitioners or specialists who have concluded a contract with one or more social health insurance institutions. Patients present their e-card when visiting panel doctors as they bill their services directly to the social insurance institutions via e-card (with the exception of services that are not covered by social health insurance and which the panel doctor therefore provides as private medical services).  In principle, the e-card can therefore be used at any panel doctor of the competent health insurance institution, in the facilities of the competent health insurance institution and in most hospitals.

Panel doctors provide services contracted with the respective health insurance institution. In order to find out exactly what costs are covered by your health insurance institution and under what conditions, you can either ask at the doctor's office or clarify this with the health insurance provider itself (websites: ÖGK, BVAEB; customer service ÖGK, customer service BVAEB). 

Note: The social health insurance institutions do not only cover costs of treatment by doctors (according to the conditions of the respective health insurance institution), but also, for example, of various therapies, remedies, aids and medicines (for more detailed information, see, for example, the websites of ÖGK/BVAEB). All people in Austria aged 18 and over are also entitled to a free health check once a year. However, this is not the only free preventive medical check-up - ask your health insurance provider for more information!

Elective doctors ("Wahlärztinnen"/"Wahlärzte") on the other hand, provide their services without a health insurance contract. They are not bound by the fees set by the social health insurance institutions and their services have to be paid for by the patients themselves. However, patients have the option of submitting the paid bill to the their social insurance provider and, in many cases, being reimbursed part of the paid costs. If you want to know whether and to what extent you can expect to be reimbursed by your health insurance institution, it makes sense to clarify this question in advance (with the doctor's practice and, if necessary, additionally with the health insurance institution itself). The websites of ÖGK and BVAEB also provide more detailed information on the reimbursement of elective medical services.

Private doctors ("Privatärztinnen"/"Privatärzte") provide services that are not reimbursable (not even partially) because they do not comply with the specifications of the health insurance institutions or the formal aspects of billing for reimbursement are not fulfilled. If you want certainty about the expected costs, it is advisable to agree on the fee in advance.

Doctors can also be panel doctors, elective doctors and private doctors at the same time. For example, a doctor may have a contract with some social health insurance institutions and not with others, so that the doctor is a contract doctor for some patients and an elective doctor for others. There are also panel doctors who additionally run a private practice (either in the same premises or in different ones), to give another example.

Private supplementary insurance is quite common in Austria to cover as far as possible those costs that are not covered by statutory health insurance (e.g. with regard to costs for elective doctors). In addition, depending on the insurance product, these private insurances offer further advantages (single room in hospital, the possibility to choose the doctor in hospital for an operation or others). Of course, here too the cost-benefit analysis is a personal one.

Note: Self-employed persons are not taken into account in this text.

How to find a doctor

A doctor search tool is available on the website of the Medical Chamber for Tyrol ("Ärztekammer für Tirol"). Please feel free to contact Welcome Service Tirol if you need assistance in finding a doctor!

Hospitals and clinics

Landeskrankenhaus Innsbruck is the Innsbruck University hospital and is managed by Tirol Kliniken GmbH. With arount 1,600 beds it is one of the largest hospitals in Austria. Information on all hospitals belonging to Tirol Klinken GmbH can be found here.

In addition to the Tirol Kliniken GmbH, with its facilities in and around Innsbruck, a large number of hospitals, private clinics and therapy facilities are available in all districts of Tyrol. 

Pharmacies

Tyrol has a dense network of pharmacies in both urban and rural areas. A late-night and weekend rota system, with a qualified pharmacist in attendance, ensures round-the-clock advice and access to pharmaceuticals seven days a week.

‚ÄčThe Chamber of Pharmacists ("Apothekerkammer") offers a pharmacy search to help you find the nearest available pharmacy

Many pharmacies even deliver medications to the  home if necessary and also offer various health checks (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc.).

Pregnancy and childbirth

If you have any questions about pregnancy and childbirth, for example, regarding the obligatory preventive medical check-ups within the framework of the so-called "Mutter-Kind-Pass" (Mother-Child Passport), your entitlement to maternity leave or maternity and childcare allowances, we will be happy to put you in touch with the relevant contacts and information centres. Please, feel free to cntact us!

contact

Welcome Service Tirol

welcome@standort-tirol.at
t +43 512 576262 237
f +43 512 576262 10
Ing.-Etzel-Str. 17, 6020 Innsbruck